Rawson Lake and Sarrail Ridge: Spectacular Views

August 25, 2019

Sarrail Ridge in Kananaskis Country provides spectacular views of four stunning lakes from a picturesque ridge. To reach this vantage point we hiked 11 kms (7 miles) with 655 meters (2150 feet) elevation gain up an incredibly steep slope. While the stormy, moody weather created muddy and slick trail conditions, it also gave us beautiful light for some truly special pictures. 

The emerald green waters of Rawson Lake in the early morning light. Sarrail Ridge is at the top of the light green hill.  

Hayley looking down at Rawson Lake with Mount Sarrail to her right. The meadow was an unusual bright yellow-green color. 

Deep emerald green Rawson Lake from halfway up the hill to Sarrail Ridge. Mount Sarrail is to the right and encompasses the lake, with Mount Foch forming the large range peeking out from behind. 

Sarrail Ridge and Rawson Lake. The mountains far in the distance form part of Elk Range. 

From Sarrail Ridge you get an incredible, bird’s-eye view of Upper Kananaskis Lake. The mountain across the lake is Mount Indefatigable. 

We had some wild weather on the ridge, with storm clouds, hail and gusting winds. When the storm finally passed a beautiful rainbow appeared over Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes.   

Hayley looking out over Upper Kananskis Lake. To her right and in the distance is skinnier Lower Kananaskis Lake which eventually disappears behind Mount Indefatigable.

The fourth and final lake we saw on this hike was Hidden Lake, which is the small lake to the left of Upper Kananaskis Lake. 

The edge of Sarrail Ridge terminates at this high, rocky peak. In the distance is Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes and the Elk Range. 

With recent storms dumping water on the trail, getting down was an adventure. Using our hiking poles and clinging to trees and bushes along the way was key to getting through safely.

The most difficult part of this trail. Due to the mud from everyone’s shoes, the rock face was extremely slick. Only by grabbing on to branches were we able to get down in one piece.

After the storm Rawson Lake was serene and beautiful. This log made a lovely perch to appreciate the tranquility. 

The skies were filled with clouds that only let sunlight through sporadically. This spotlight effect was present for only a minute or two but in that time I managed to capture this incredible photo of Hayley with her golden hair illuminated by the light. 

On our way out new storm clouds rolled in, with the setting sun spotlighting the mountains behind Upper Kananaskis Lake. While we didn’t get perfect weather for our hike, the storms gave us far more interesting photos than we ever could have captured on a sunny, cloudless day. 

For additional information about this hike, contact the Peter Lougheed Park Discovery & Information Centre

Photo Credit: Hayley Mead and Jolene Rempel

This post is part of the Adventures series.

About Jolene

I’m an avid gardener whose mission is to bring more beauty into the world. I believe that with the right information anyone can create their own beautiful, low-maintenance garden. 

When I’m not gardening you can find me exploring the Canadian Rockies. Learn more…

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